Africa’s fastest growing low cost carrier fastjet is phasing out its Airbus fleet in favour of Embraer.
The airline will return three of it’s leased Airbus A319, sub-lease two while selling the third which it owns by end of September.
Fast jet has already negotiated for three 108-seater Embraer E190’s on short term lease, with the first one expected to touch down in two weeks. The wet-lease program which includes pilots, cabin and maintenance crew will enable the new fleet to start operations immediately.
Load factor was one of the main reasons why the carrier opted for the switch, projected to reach 70% with the Embraers as compared to the current 47% by the Airbus A319 fleet.
The airline has had a turbulent year with profits dipping due to high operational costs and inefficiencies. The board subsequently hired Nico Bezuidenhout as CEO to stabilize the airline.
Fastjet is also planning to move its headquarters to South Africa, starting with the commercial department by end of 2016.
Barely recovering from a USD 22 Million loss last year, analysts predict that the carrier will break even in terms of cash flow by Q4 2017.